Friday Night SmackDown opened with a special address from Vince McMahon.
As soon as it was announced that McMahon would be appearing on SmackDown the rumour mill went into overdrive. But fans didn’t have to wait long to find out what he had to say.
Entering to a huge ovation, McMahon opened the show appearing confident and smiling all of the way. Microphone in hand he explained that it was always a privilege to stand before the fans, especially in Minnesota before referencing WWE’s “Then, Now Forever” video package. McMahon said that the most important part of the clip was the word together, before welcoming everyone to SmackDown.
At that McMahon threw the mic down and left.
— WWE (@WWE) June 18, 2022
Early on June 17th it was announced that Vince McMahon had stepped back from his role as WWE CEO and Chairman of the Board with immediate effect.
Furthermore, McMahon has been replaced on an interim basis by his daughter Stephanie McMahon. However, Vince will retain his responsibilities related to WWE’s creative content.
The announcement came after news broke on June 15th that Vince McMahon was being investigated by WWE’s board of directors over allegations that he paid $3 million to a former employee with whom he had previously had an affair.
It was also noted that that the board’s investigation has also unearthed older non-disclosure agreements that surround claims of misconduct made by other former female WWE employees that involve both Vince McMahon and WWE’s Head of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis.